Friday, October 28, 2011

Where do we go from here?

Wile E Coyote catches Road Runner 3In one of the Looney Tunes cartoons, Wiley Coyote was giving chase to the Roadrunner through a series of pipes. These pipes became wider and wider, or narrower and narrower. The gag was that the two grew or shrank proportionally as they ran through them.

In a ironic moment, Wiley Coyote had gone through a small pipe while the Roadrunner had gone through a big one. It was at that moment that Wiley finally caught the Roadrunner. After standing there for a second next to a bird 10 times bigger than he was, Wiley Coyote held up a sign that said: “Okay, wise guys, you always wanted me to catch him. Now what do I do?”

Christians and churches sometimes go through moments like these along the journey: A moment of glorious success, followed by a complete loss for what to do or where to go from that point on.

The church building is filled to capacity. – “Well, we wanted a full sanctuary, now what?” At this point churches can flounder. Should they go to a two-service classic/contemporary model? Should they invest in an expansion of the sanctuary, or a new building? Should they just let it be, knowing that at some point the numbers will drop? Should the church start a mission?

The neighbor accepted Jesus. – “Well, Rashaad decided to follow Jesus, now what?” At this point Christians often flounder. Should I try to disciple him myself? What do I teach him? Should I refer him to the discipleship director at the church?  Should he be baptized while he is still living with his girlfriend? Maybe if he can just start attending church he will be discipled naturally?

John surrendered to the ministry. – “Well, John surrendered to full time Christian service or to missions, now what?” At this point churches sometimes flounder. Do we send him off to seminary? Do we let him preach a few times to see if he’s “got it?” Should we put him over a Sunday School class? Do we send him to Mexico for a week?

The people we invited to church came. – “Well I invited them and they started coming, now what?” At this point both churches and Christians can flounder. If they like the service enough, they will keep coming, right? Then they will get saved, right? Should we send the pastor to visit them? Should the family that invited them start discipling them? Who is responsible?

Can you think of any other successful moments in ministry that often get followed up with “Oops, now I just don’t know what to do?”

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